Johann Martin Augustin Scholz

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Johann Martin Augustin Scholz
Johann Martin Augustin Scholz (2).jpg
Born8 February 1794
Kapsdorf, near Breslau, Prussia
Died20 October 1852 (aged 58)
Alma materUniversity of Freiburg
Scientific career
Oriental Studies
Biblical Studies
New Testament
InstitutionsUniversity of Bonn
Doctoral advisorJohann Leonhard Hug

Johann Martin Augustin Scholz (8 February 1794 – 20 October 1852) was a German Roman Catholic orientalist, biblical scholar and academic theologian. He was a professor at the University of Bonn and travelled extensively throughout Europe and the Near East in order to locate manuscripts of the New Testament.


Scholz attended secondary school at the Catholic gymnasium in Breslau and then studied at the University of Breslau. In 1817 he was granted the degree of Doctor of Theology by the University of Freiburg, where he had studied under Johann Leonhard Hug (1765-1846). Scholz then went to Paris, where he studied Persian and Arabic under Silvestre de Sacy, and collated numerous codices (Greek, Latin, Arabic and Syriac) of the New Testament.[1] From Paris he went to London, then travelled through France and Switzerland en route to Italy, the principal libraries of which he visited in order to conduct biblical research. In the autumn of 1821, upon his return from a journey through Egypt, Palestine and Syria, and having been ordained at Breslau (in October 1821), Scholz became professor of exegesis at the University of Bonn, a chair to which he had been called in 1820, and which he filled until his death, despite the fact that he was not an interesting lecturer.[1]

In 1837, Scholz was appointed canon of the Cologne Cathedral.


In addition to his major work, his Novum Testamentum Graece (a text edition of the Greek New Testament), Scholz was also known for his efforts in Bible translation, in which he continued the work begun by Dominikus von Brentano and Anton Dereser.

Scholz's work in textual criticism was particularly appreciated by the British. He was able to add to the list of Greek manuscripts of the New Testament 616 new minuscule manuscripts. His additions to the list of uncials comprise only Codex Sangallensis (Δ) and three fragments of the Gospels 0115 (formerly Wa), 054 (his Y),[2] and the Vatican portion of N022 (his Γ). These manuscripts were partially examined and collated by him.[3] Results of his work were published between 1830 and 1836.

Scholz's accession of new witnesses to the lists of New Testament manuscripts was extensive. He was responsible for adding codices 260-469 of the Gospels,[4] 110-192 of the Acts, 125-246 of the Pauline epistles,[5] 51-89 of the Apocalypse, 51-181 of the Evangelistaria, and 21-48 of the Apostoloi.[6]

Scholz collated the entire text of five manuscripts: 262, 299, 300, 301 and 346. Other manuscripts he collated in large part: (260, 270, 271, 277, 284, 285, 298, 324, 353, 382 and 428).

Scholz divided all New Testament manuscripts into five families: two African (Alexandrian and Western), one Asiatic, one Byzantine and one Cyprian. He was the first to emphasize the importance of ascertaining the geographical provenance of a witness. That point was elaborated by B. H. Streeter in 1924 ("theory of local texts"). Scholz, after some tentative attempts at classifying manuscripts, rejected this theory and adopted Johann Albrecht Bengel's division into two families, which he called the Alexandrian and the Constantinopolitan. He initially favoured the Constantinopolitan (Byzantine) family of manuscripts, but in 1845 he retracted this preference for the Constantinopolitan .[7]

Select Publications[edit]

To these works may be added Scholz's own account of his travels: Reise in die Gegend; etc. (Leipzig, 1822); Biblisch-kritische Reise, etc. (Leipzig, 1823); his essays on the Holy Sepulchre (Bonn, 1825); on Jerusalem (Bonn, 1835); Curae criticae, containing a valuable description of Cod. K. Cyprius (Heidelberg, 1820); De fontibus historiae V. Test. (Bonn, 1830); and his discourse on the harmony of Divine revelation with science (Bonn 1845).


  1. ^ a b Herbermann 1913.
  2. ^ Scholz, Johann Martin Augustin (1830). Novum Testamentum Graece, vol. 1. Leipzig: Fleischer. pp. xliii.
  3. ^ S. P. Tregelles, The Printed Text of the Greek New Testament, London 1854, p. 92.
  4. ^ Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose (1894). A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament. 1. London: George Bell & Sons. p. 225.
  5. ^ Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose (1894). A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament. 1. London: George Bell & Sons. p. 310.
  6. ^ Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose (1894). A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament. 1. London: George Bell & Sons. p. 369.
  7. ^ Bruce M. Metzger, Bart D. Ehrman, "The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration", Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 169.

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